Precose

Drug List

Precose

Drug Name

Precose (Acarbose)

Manufactured By

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Drug Savings

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Treats Disease/Condition

Uses

Acarbose is used along with a proper diet and exercise program to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Acarbose works by slowing the breakdown of starch (carbohydrates) from the food you eat into sugar, so that your blood sugar level does not rise as much after a meal. Acarbose may be used with other medications (e.g., insulin, metformin, sulfonylureas such as glipizide) to control diabetes because they work in different ways.

How To Use

Patients should be told to take Precose orally three times a day at the start (with the first bite) of each main meal. It is important that patients continue to adhere to dietary instructions, a regular exercise program, and regular testing of urine and/or blood glucose

Side Effects

Diarrhea, gas, upset stomach, constipation, or stomach pain may occur in the first few weeks of treatment as your body adjusts to this medication but usually improve with time. Follow your prescribed diet to help lessen these side effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine. Acarbose does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). However, this effect can occur if you also take other anti-diabetic drugs (e.g., sulfonylureas, insulin) and if you do not consume enough calories from food or if you do unusually heavy exercise. Symptoms of low blood sugar include cold sweat, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, shaking, fast heartbeat, headache, fainting, tingling of the hands/feet, and hunger. Do not use table sugar (also called cane sugar or sucrose) to relieve these symptoms because acarbose delays its breakdown. Carry glucose tablets or gel with you to treat low blood sugar. If you are in a situation where you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, eat some honey or drink a glass of orange juice (sources of another sugar, fructose) to quickly raise your blood sugar level. Tell your doctor about the reaction right away. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal. Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. Your dosage may need to be increased or you may need other drugs. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug Interactions

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first. This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: activated charcoal, digestive enzyme products (e.g., amylase, pancreatin). If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting acarbose. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: pramlintide. Beta-blocker medications (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness, hunger, and sweating are unaffected by these drugs. Many drugs can affect your blood sugar levels, making it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor about the results and of any symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your anti-diabetic medication, exercise program, or diet.

In Case of Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

In Case of Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.